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Re: Bug #309257: libpano12: patent problems

On Tue, Jun 21, 2005 at 08:03:48PM +0200, Florent Bayle wrote:
> Le Mardi 21 Juin 2005 18:10, Robert Jordens a écrit :
> > severity 309257 grave
> > tags 309257 - wontfix
> > tags 309257 + sid etch
> > thanks

> You should not remove wontfix tag, it's maintainer role to decide if he will 
> fix the bug or not.

The "wontfix" tag isn't really appropriate for an RC bug, however -- either
it gets fixed, or the package gets removed.

> > * Florent Bayle:
> > > severity 309257 important
> > > tags 309257 wontfix
> > > stop

> > > This bug should not prevent libpano12 from going into testing.

> > Patent problems are not something that you can refuse to fix! And how do
> > you come to the comclusion that they should not prevent libpano12 from
> > reaching testing?

> Please have a look at libjpeg62 (#153467) to see how such problem is treated.

That bug shows people expressing the opinions that

- we don't want to be hasty in removing software based on a patent before we
  have reason to believe it's valid and may be enforced against us
- we consider the existence of prior art as sufficient reason to ignore the
  patent, since legally, the patent is invalid

both of these things are true, but you haven't really shown how either
relates to libpano12, AFAICT?

> > I'd like to request removal of libpano12 from Debian in the current form
> > for the reasons outlined in the bug report and the ITP for panotools.

> You are the only one who think that this problem is so important that we have 
> to remove this package from Debian (please have a look at the latest debate 
> on debian-legal,

Reference, please?

> > * Josselin Mouette:
> > > So what? Are we going to remove any piece of software for which a
> > > jackass claims he has some prior art?

> > That argument would hold for the MP3 encoders as well. A "realistic
> > threat" makes "patent problems" something dangerous.

> > > Come on, please resurrect the non-us archive. There are many pieces of
> > > software we could distribute in it without risking patent lawsuits.

> > The lawsuit WRT panotools has threatened the _German_ developer (that
> > hardly ever left Germany) to the point where he abandoned the software.
> > This wouldn't fit for your new non-us archive.

> We can't know what will be the risk for Debian. Please take into account the 
> fact that there is a sourceforge project and that developers haven't got any 
> problems.

Debian has consistently classified actively-enforced patents as an
unacceptable risk.  Is there some reason to think this patent is not really
being actively enforced, or is an invalid patent?

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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